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Exhibition by Alan Hranitelj at the headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels

A retrospective exhibition of works from the rich oeuvre by Slovenian costume designer Alan Hranitelj who has been working in the field of opera, theatre and film for over 30 years, opened today, 13 July 2021, in the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels.

The Mad Hatter's Wardrobe exhibition was opened by the Slovenian Minister of Culture, Vasko Simoniti, and the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen.

The exhibition, which is not only a celebration of costume design, but also an example of exceptional sculptural and painterly imagination, offers an insight into the Mad Hatter’s Wardrobe and an endless colourful world of clothing. 20 out of 36 display cases from the exhibition are on show.

Alan Hranitelj, whose opus comprises over 400 costume designs and collaborations in different art projects, designed the exhibition in collaboration with the top Slovenian set designer Marko Japelj. The creations, which cross over from costume design to different worlds of art and combine seemingly incompatible motives, reflect the imaginary world of an artist committed to eternal beauty.

Hranitelj has won numerous awards for his work, both at home and abroad. In 2020, he received the highest national award for cultural achievements, the Prešeren Fund Award, for his retrospective exhibition Parallel Worlds 2006–2019, which showcased his work over that period.

The Mad Hatter's Wardrobe shows the author's insight into the infinitely colourful world of patterns, materials, structures and reflections. The author has created an entire universe from classic, mostly monochromatic men's shirts, waistcoats, ties, shoes, hats and cuff links. He upgraded, modified and completed his existing fabric samples with various geometric shapes using computer technology. They intertwine with numerous images drawn from the plant and animal world. Each piece comes alive within its own pattern. With the help of duplication and mirrors they seem to undulate in all directions, having a magical and psychedelic effect on our senses. They take us to parallel worlds.

In the making of The Mad Hatter's Wardrobe, costume designer Hranitelj has outdone himself by combining the artisanal perfectionism of handicraft and his exceptional artistic skills. Indeed, the artist, in his own unique and recognisable way, expresses the EU motto “united in diversity”.

The Mad Hatter's Wardrobe is on show until 31 December 2021. The other 16 display cases can be viewed at a photo exhibition in the Europa building featuring all 36 display cases.